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Sustained infrastructure activities needed: APCMA [The Nation] 28 Apr, 2017

LAHORE - The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has said the country needs sustained infrastructure activities for at least a decade to bridge the infrastructure gap with competing economies.

Ever increasing domestic market has justified the manufacturers thrust to install new capacities. Experts said the cement industry is playing its due role to get that momentum going as the industry despatched 3.96 million tons of cement in March 2017 against 3.58 million tons of corresponding month of last year.

The statistics released by APCMA reveal that the cement despatches during the first nine months of this fiscal stood at 30.304 million tons that is the highest ever despatches recorded in the first nine months of a fiscal. The figure could have been much higher had the smuggling and under invoicing of cement been curbed, experts said.

The APCMA spokesman said that the domestic producers are coping with the challenges of unethical exports on the strength of their excellent quality. He said substandard cement created distraction but could not suppress the demand of high quality Pakistani cement. “This cement is much preferred over Indian cement in Indian Punjab but unfortunately our planners have not succeeded in pursuing the Indians to remove the tariff and nontariff barriers,” he added.

He said high duties on cement are increasing the cost of the commodity and hurting the consumers. If duties are reduced the manufacturers could pass on the benefit to the consumers and lower cement cost may give rise to construction activities, creating more jobs for the skilled and unskilled labour, he added.

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